Changes in students’ use of epistemic criteria in model evaluation

Na’Ama Y. Av-Shalom, Hebbah El-Moslimany, Ravit Golan Duncan, Clark A. Chinn

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


Scientists collaboratively develop and use epistemic criteria to evaluate the products of their inquiry practices (e.g., models and arguments). Although students are able to engage in many aspects of scientific practices effectively, we know less about students’ ability to develop and use epistemic criteria. In this paper we discuss a model-based inquiry intervention with seventh grade students in which students developed and used epistemic criteria when evaluating models. We explored students’ use of epistemic criteria before and after the intervention. We found that students were able to generate and use a variety of epistemic criteria even before the intervention. Yet they improved in their ability to invoke fit-with-evidence as an epistemic criterion, a central criterion in modeling and argumentation. Our data suggest that students developed in their understanding of which criteria are prioritized in scientific practice—i.e., a meta-epistemic understanding of the utility and importance of epistemic criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)768-775
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS
Issue number2018-June
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2018: Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making the Learning Sciences Count - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 23 2018Jun 27 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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